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let me explain what i mean; it is a serious point. mandela was receiving power at a stage when most of the struggle had already been won, and de klerk was having to persuade his own people to give power up before they had been defeated. this was a different situation the world had not seen such a situation before. to his credit, de klerk realised that he needed the legitimacy of the electorate of south africa, who were, quite wrongly but in practice, were all white at that time. he called the referendum and, by the sheer force of his leadership, persuaded more than 60% of white south africans to accept that the days apartheid were over. even then, it required mandela, and it is to his credit, to go through long months of negotiation, not always with the support of his colleagues in the
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anc, in order to deliver not just a transfer of power that offered the prospect of peace for all the people of south africa. mandela once notably said, "this is not about moving from white domination to black domination. there must be no domination of either community." he was an extraordinary man in not only believing that but practising it with every fibre of his being. as we look today at the lessons of mandela's extraordinary life and incredible achievements, at his contribution not just to south africa, which goes without saying, but to the wider world and at why he has become such an iconic figure, two factors stand out. first, he is perhaps the best example we have had in the past 100 years of how political leaders, by force of personality, transform themselves from politicians into
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statesman can by their sheer personal effort change the world and make what was impossible possible and then deliver it. he is not the only one who has done so. we should not think of him as unique. gorbachev, by the force of his personality, helped to end the cold war and deliver the liberation of eastern europe without a shot being fired, and few would have believed that possible. lech walesa, an obscure trade unionist at first, built up the solidarnosc organisation and toppled the once mighty polish communist party. anwar sadat, a controversial figure in many ways, was yet another example. the extraordinary decision that he took to fly from egypt to jerusalem and address the israeli knesset as egyptian president led to peace between israel and egypt. in our own day, we have aung san suu kyi, and we all know what she has done and how it is transforming burma.
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being a political, charismatic figure is necessary but it is not sufficient. it must be combined with political skill, and, of course, mandela was a politician to his fingertips as well as being a man with all those other talents. the second lesson is that of course political leadership is needed, we should also recognise, as mandela did, the strength of diplomacy as a way of getting political change. even after mandela had been released, it took months and months of negotiation that could have collapsed at any stage into internal civil war. in a year when we have seen how diplomacy, which is not always fashionable, has produced agreement on syrian chemical weapons and an interim agreement on iran's nuclear programme, it is worth taking comfort from
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that and seeing how mandela's example can deliver in an extraordinary way. i conclude by simply saying that when we pay tribute to nelson mandela, as we rightly do, we should pay tribute to him for what he stood for and we should acknowledge what he achieved in south africa, but we should also recognise what he taught the world about the resolution of what seemed like intractable political problems through patience, personality, courage, and diplomacy. military solutions and armed struggle are sometimes unavoidable, but often they are avoidable and he demonstrated that better than anyone in our time. >> mr. peter hain. >> i thank the prime minister,
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the deputy prime minister and the leader of the opposition for their perhaps over-generous remarks about my role. let me simply underline that there were many tens of thousands of activists in the anti-apartheid movement who deserve to be acknowledged as well. thank you, mr. speaker, for your personal leadership in ensuring that this tribute debate is such a special event, as you said, for such a special person. i note that you are wearing the south african tie on this occasion. i specifically thank you -- this is very important -- for proposing, along with the lord speaker, thursday afternoon's westminster hall event for civil society, including, importantly, veteran activists of the anti- apartheid movement who worked so tirelessly over many tough and bitter decades both for nelson mandela's release and for the sanctions against apartheid that he wanted and that ultimately triggered his freedom. i have never really been into heroes, but nelson mandela was mine from when i was a young boy
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in pretoria, unique among my school friends and relatives, in having parents who welcomed everybody to their house regardless of colour -- activists in the anti-apartheid struggle. i remember that one fellow activist, elliot mngadi, remarked, "this is the first time i've ever come through the front door of a white man's house." blacks acting as servants or gardeners might be allowed in the back door occasionally. my mother, adelaine, was often alone in the whites-only section of the public gallery at nelson mandela's 1962 trial in pretoria and when he entered the dock, he would always acknowledge her with a clenched fist, which she would return. his beautiful wife winnie attended the trial each day, often magnificent in tribal dress. once, when my tiny younger sisters went with my mother on a school holiday, winnie bent down and kissed the two little blonde girls to the evident
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horror of the onlooking white policemen. a black woman kissing two little white children disgusted him. 40 years later, i was escorting nelson mandela to speak at the labour party annual conference in brighton, but before that he had an appointment with the prime minister that had been very carefully scheduled. we were going down in the lift in the hotel, and he said, "how's the family?" i mentioned that my mother had broken her leg and was in hospital. "ah," he said, "i must phone her." the prime minister was kept waiting while nelson mandela chatted to porters and cleaners and waitresses and waiters, all lined up as the minutes ticked by. i desperately tried directory inquiries to get her phone number, eventually got the ward and was put through. i said to her, "there's a very special person who would like to speak to you," and i handed the phone to him. he said, "this is mandela from south africa. do you know who i am?" [laughter]
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having been sentenced to five years on robben island after the pretoria trial that my mother attended, mandela was then brought back over more than a year later, as has been mentioned, to be accused no. 1 in the rivonia trial, when, facing the death penalty and against the strong advice of his lawyer, he famously said, "during my lifetime i have dedicated myself to the struggle of the african people. i have fought against white domination, and i have fought against black domination. i have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. it is an ideal for which i hope to live and to achieve. but if needs be it is an ideal for which i am prepared to die." i remember reading these powerful words aged 14, trying to take in their full significance, and aware they were a great inspiration to my parents and all those involved in the anti-apartheid struggle,
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as nelson mandela faced the death penalty. in fact, after worldwide pleas for clemency, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, and in july 1964, mandela returned to robben island, not to be seen or heard in public again for nearly 26 years. two years later, in 1966, after my parents had been jailed, declared banned persons, and deprived of earning a living, our family sailed past robben island and into exile here in britain, and we will always be grateful for the welcome we were given in this country. i remember looking out over the cape rollers and imagining how mandela and his comrades were surviving in that cold bleak cell. as an african, he was permitted 5 ounces of meat daily, whereas
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coloureds were allowed six ounces. he was permitted 1/2 ounce of fat, and coloureds 1 ounce -- the evil precision of apartheid penetrated every nook and cranny of life, banning inter-racial sex as well as segregating park benches, sport, jobs, schools, hospitals, and much, much more. the apartheid state had hoped that, out of sight on the former leper colony of robben island, with its freezing cold waters that had devoured all escapees, mandela would be out of mind, but the longer he was imprisoned, the bigger a global leader he became. in july 1988, his 70th birthday became a global celebration, with a pulsating. free mandela anti-apartheid rock concert attended by 100,000 people at wembley stadium and watched on live television by 600 million worldwide, despite -- i say for the record, not out of any recrimination -- some
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conservative members pressing the bbc to pull the plug on its coverage. then, almost miraculously, something occurred that we had dreamed of, but deep down doubted would ever, ever happen -- on that historic day in february 1990 mandela walked out of prison to freedom, providing an image for ever imprinted on me and on millions, perhaps even billions, across the world. i say almost miraculously because history gets compressed and rewritten over time, and we take change for granted. the reality was very different. nelson mandela's struggle for freedom and that of his african national congress was long and bitter, taking nearly 100 years from the days under british colonial rule when the roots of apartheid were established. under britain in 1900, 50 years before apartheid was formally institutionalised in south africa, most of apartheid's features were already in place
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in the bustling gold-rush city of johannesburg. by then, africans were prevented from walking on the pavements -- they had to walk on the streets they had to carry passes to work in the city, they could not use buses and trains designated for whites, they were dreadfully exploited in the mines, and they had no political rights. we all say in britain that we were against apartheid, and doubtless we were, but some did things about it. others did not. the anti-apartheid struggle was for most of its life engaged in a big fight, here in britain, too. the executive secretaries of the anti-apartheid movement -- first, ethel de keyser, then mike terry -- were indefatigable. its chairman, lord bob hughes, and treasurer, richard caborn -- former members of this house -- were real stalwarts, along with neil kinnock and glenys as well. protests to stop whites-only springbok tours provoked fierce anger.
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[laughter] i remember it them well -- "hain the pain," as i recall. some people might still feel that. yet, as nelson mandela confirmed to me, the springboks' sporting isolation was a key factor in making whites realise that they had to change, so that today that wonderful black rugby star bryan habana can be a springbok, whereas his predecessors under apartheid at the time that we were demonstrating never could. demands for trade and economic sanctions were also resisted, yet their partial implementation, regrettably not by london, but by washington, eventually helped propel the white business community in the late 1980's to demand change from the very same apartheid government from whom they had so long benefited. mr. speaker, forgive me if, for a brief moment, i strike what i hope will not be seen as too discordant a note on this occasion, which sees the house at its very best, coming together to salute the great man.
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were it not for interventions in the media in recent days, i would have let pass correcting the historical record. i give credit especially to you, mr. speaker, for volunteering most graciously that you were on the wrong side of the anti- apartheid struggle as a young conservative. i give credit to the prime minister for apologising for his party's record of what i have to describe as craven indulgence towards apartheid's rulers. and if nelson mandela can forgive his oppressors without forgetting their crimes, who am i not to do the same for our opponents in the long decades of the anti-apartheid struggle? but it really does stick in the craw when lord tebbit, charles moore and others similar tried over recent days to claim that their complicity with apartheid -- that is what i think it was
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-- somehow brought about its end. to my utter incredulity, lord tebbit even told bbc world in a debate with me that they had brought about mandela's freedom. i know for a fact that nelson mandela did not think so. at every possible opportunity he went out of his way to thank anti-apartheid activists across the world for freeing him and his people. it is therefore especially welcome that nelson mandela always retained an almost touching faith in british parliamentary democracy. even though -- i disagree with the interpretation by the right honorable and learned member for kensington -- over most of his life he was a believer in non- violent legal peaceful change. by force of circumstance -- the suppression of his african national congress's non-violent campaign for over 60 years -- he had to become a freedom fighter and to lead an underground campaign of guerrilla activity similar to the french resistance against the nazis. even when the majority in this parliament, and the government
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of the day, was not on his side, he still cherished our parliamentary democracy. i mention this because mandela's old foes became his new friends, his former adversaries his admirers. that was part, as others have said, of his greatness. but that was mandela the political leader. there was another, as my right honorable friend the member for kirkcaldy and cowdenbeath, remarked in his marvellous speech, another equally engaging side to his greatness. he had an infectious capacity for mischief. in london a few weeks after our marriage in 2003, i introduced my wife elizabeth to him. "is this your girlfriend?" he asked. when i replied, "no, she's my wife", he chuckled, "so she caught you then?" when elizabeth, who can be somewhat feisty at times, exclaimed indignantly that she had taken a lot of persuading, he laughed, "that's what they all say, peter, but they trap
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you in the end!" by then she realised that he was teasing her and we all ended up laughing together. he had apologised earlier for not coming to our wedding, instead sending a message, which contained these impish words to us newlyweds -- "but perhaps i will be able to come next time!" [laughter] it was not just his towering moral stature, his courage and capacity to inspire, that endeared nelson mandela to so many. despite being one of the world's most prominent statesmen -- perhaps the most revered -- he retained his extraordinary humanity. when he was with you, you had all his attention. when he greeted you, his eyes never wandered, even though you were surrounded by far more important people. whether you were a mere child, a hotel porter, a cleaner, a waiter or a junior staff member, he was interested in you. and he never forgot a friend. on the same occasion when elizabeth met him in 2003, my parents were also present, enjoying a reunion.
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the conversation somehow turned to my ministerial driver, whom mandela promptly summoned. "i was once a driver, too," he told him as they shook hands, referring to the time in 1961-62 when he was on the run and went underground, dubbed the "black pimpernel", often moving about the country dressed as a chauffeur, in order to invite no attention, with cap and uniform and his white "master" in the back, as was stereotypical in those days and so a good form of disguise. an ordinariness combined with extraordinariness is not mandela's sole uniqueness. his capacity for forgiveness is what made him the absolutely critical figure, first during secret negotiations in the late 1980's from prison with the afrikaner nationalist government and then after his release, both in the transition and in healing a bitterly divided nation. that brings me to his status.
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gandhi, kennedy, and churchill are all iconic figures, the last for his inspirational wartime leadership, and the first two more for having been assassinated. yet today ask almost anybody anywhere which global statesman they admire most, and nelson mandela as likely as not will be the answer. other world figures are usually famous within their own professional disciplines, sections of society, interest groups or age groups. cynicism, or plain indifference. nelson mandela's unique achievement was to command fame, admiration, and affection from virtually everyone, everywhere in the world. so if, as i believe, he is more iconic than anybody else, why? his life story of sacrifice, courage, endurance, and suffering in the great and noble cause of liberty, democracy, and justice places him among a very select few -- the tolpuddle
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martyrs, chartists, suffragettes, gandhi himself, anti-colonial african leaders, che guevara, lech walesa, solzhenitsyn, and aung san suu kyi, to name just some. but mandela towers above them all in the popular imagination, perhaps in part because he was the first such figure to be projected to the world's peoples through the powerful modern media of global television and the internet. he was quite simply far better known than any comparable figure. equally, he survived -- this is the lesson i draw -- he survived, and indeed prospered, even under the fierce media spotlight of 24-hour news, over- hype and spin, where uniquely, he remained untarnished and undiminished by that modern media beast's unrivalled capacity for building up then knocking down, leaving him serenely above all its insatiable prurience and obsession for triviality and instant novelty. where most political careers end
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in failure or opprobrium, nelson mandela's continued to soar long after he stepped down as president. mandela's greatness, his stature, derived not just from an extraordinary biography that dwarfs the rest of humankind, it came from the warm glow of humanity that he radiated, his common touch, humbleness, self- deprecation, humour, and dignity. prison could have embittered, adulation could have gone to his head, and egotism could have triumphed. the clutching of the crowd and the intrusive pressures of the modern political age could have seen him retreat behind the barriers that most leaders and celebrities today erect around themselves, not necessarily through any fault of their own, but in part to retain some personal space, but the consequence of which all too often becomes either aloofness or insincerity and its companion, cynicism. but none of that happened to him. throughout everything, nelson mandela remained his own man,
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not seduced by the trappings of office, nor deluded by the adulation of admirers, always friendly and approachable. that is why, for me, he was the icon of icons, and perhaps always will be. president bill clinton, who has such a wonderful way with words, said, "every time nelson mandela walks into a room, we all feel a little bigger, we all want to stand up, we all want to cheer, because we'd like to be him on our best day." sadly, nelson mandela will not be walking into our rooms ever again, but we can all still strive to be like him on our best days. for, as he said in one of his many memorable proverbs -- "what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. it is what difference we have made to the lives of others." >> mr. alistair burt. >> it is a real privilege to follow the right honorable
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gentleman. he speaks with an authenticity that few others could have in these circumstances. it must be the case that the vindication of history sits comfortably on his shoulders and on those of all in the anti- apartheid movement. he is entitled to his say today, and he has spoken very well of the things that matter so much to him and to so many of us. i remember as a small boy writing to basil d'oliveira when he was excluded from the test team, and i remember cheering when a test series was cancelled. my parents were convinced i had become a communist. [laughter] they are now, like one or two others of my colleagues, merely uncertain. [laughter] in 2000, nelson mandela visited bedford to pay tribute to archbishop trevor huddleston in the town of archbishop huddleston's birth -- archbishop huddleston, who gave so much to the anti-apartheid movement.
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it is said that a photograph taken that day was used as the model for the statue in parliament square. mr. mandela's host on that day was the mayor of bedford, councillor carole ellis. sadly, councillor ellis is seriously ill at present, but i know that she is so proud of her own and of bedford's part in mr. mandela's story. between 1986 and 1990, the right honorable gentleman member for bermondsey and old southwark , i and peter pike, the former member for burnley, made three visits to south africa at the invitation of the followers of christ working for a peaceful resolution of the situation there. on our return from our first visit, on june 17, we made joint speeches in a debate here in the house of commons, referring to
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each other as our honorable friends -- a point duly noted by hansard. we had gone together -- safety in numbers -- at a time when the anc was still banned, the political situation was deteriorating, violence was abroad, and where the isolation of south africa was impacting on the flow of anything but very polarised information. we were able to report back to our respective party leaders on what we found. i had half an hour with an anxious, worried, and very uncertain margaret thatcher. we reported back on the tragic success of apartheid in separating one person from another, on the urgency of the need for change to avoid a looming catastrophe, and on how the united kingdom's public position also needed to change. but we also, and apparently rather unusually, reported some hope. i said in the house, "there is a large group of people in south africa whom many have ignored. they are those of all races who are working patiently for simple fellowship and reconciliation in pure human terms by meeting each
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other and sharing their lives and experiences. some of those with whom we stayed were white opponents of apartheid and had been so for decades, but all were people who realised that the abolition of the legislative structure of apartheid is almost secondary to the struggle to change hearts and minds. they should not be ignored, for if any group epitomises hope in south africa, it is that group." we met on our visits, even in 1986, south african government figures who worried about the impact of the release of nelson mandela but who knew that his death in prison would be a tragedy beyond comprehension. like many others, we knew that only a miracle could save south africa from violent confrontation, but unlike others, perhaps, we saw some of the groundwork being patiently prepared. south africa was a land in which jesus christ was the person around whom so many could meet together, especially if they were those who were allowed to
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meet in no other circumstances. that task became easier after the dutch reformed church public recanted its misplaced biblical support for apartheid. south africa's people were readying themselves for a different future but uncertain if the miracle of leadership would be there. in the end, of course, the miracle was nelson mandela, with a passion for reconciliation and forgiveness that astonished the world. it was built on a base that had been prayed for and actively worked for in south africa for years before his release. nelson mandela was the pivotal figure around whom all this work became based and whose attitudes overcame the fear and negativity from people who knew intellectually what needed to be done but simply could not see how it could happen. it is impossible to predict what would have happened without such leadership. i regret that i did so little for the struggle here in the united kingdom, but my friend
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peter pike, with 26 years in the anti-apartheid movement before he even set foot in south africa, deserves to have his voice heard today. i asked him over the weekend what he would say if he were here, and he told me of his memories of the visits. he reminded me that one m.p. had believed god created reptiles, birds, animals, black people, brown people. and white people and that they should all keep their places as species -- and he thumped his bible to prove it. he undermined his argument, however, by declaring that he had proof that mrs thatcher was a marxist infiltrator. [laughter] peter reminded us of how, on our next visit, he had asked why the security was building up as we approached the security gate at johannesburg airport. i said it might be because of the large "free nelson mandela" badge he was wearing on his lapel. [laughter]
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he asked one of the security guards, "is it illegal for me to wear the badge?" he was told very briskly, "it is not illegal, but it is extremely inadvisable." [laughter] peter wanted to say this in particular -- "i believe one thing so typical of nelson mandela was when he addressed the large meeting in nelspruit. at the end he had young white youths asking him what would their future be in a black south africa. he put his arms around their shoulders and said he was not removing the domination of south africa by the white minority to allow it to be dominated by another race. the new south africa would be for all south africans and that they were the south africans of the future. he ended by saying it was a pity that they had wasted 27 years and could not have talked like this before." i wanted peter pike's words -- the voice of a true, authentic anti-apartheid supporter -- to be heard in this house today. in conclusion, world leaders
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have on their plate a series of conflicts, which i know only too well from the past three and a half years. a better tribute to nelson mandela than all the fine words we are going to hear at the funeral would be for the leaders involved in just one of those conflicts to echo reconciliation and forgiveness, the magnanimity of power and the true service of their people and to lead their people in humility and peace rather than grandeur and war. >> for me, as for so many of my generation, the story of nelson mandela and his comrades and colleagues has been inextricably interwoven with political life and campaigning. events such as sharpeville helped awaken and shape political awareness. campaigns against the evils of apartheid have run throughout the years of my political and trade union life.
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i think it is right to recognize today that the whole trade union movement, including my own union, unite, of which i am proud to have been a member for almost 50 years, was resolute in its support and solidarity throughout those difficult years. as those years drew to a close, i recall, like the right honorable and learned member for kensington, a conversation with president de klerk, who asked me, quite anxiously -- i was surprised at how anxious he seemed -- if i thought that reaching agreement would in fact transform south africa's standing in the world and end his country's status as some kind of international pariah. he seemed relieved and almost grateful when i assured him that i thought that a free south africa -- or a south africa with its people free -- would be welcomed everywhere with open arms. i think there is going to be much emphasis today on what we can learn from nelson mandela. as has been said, he was in no
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way a saint, as he himself acknowledged. he was, however -- this point is not always mentioned, although it has already been made today a politician, and a party politician and party leader at that. born into a community that lacked wealth and power, he understood it was both honorable and desirable to band together with others of a like mind to fight to change things for the better. that, after all, is what every political party, in its own way, is about. it was as the leader of the anc that he took part in those historic negotiations. i say that in particular because the tone of some comments that have been made about him -- not so much here today, but elsewhere, and for the best and most well-meaning of reasons -- is such that it is almost as if he was somehow above politics. of course, he became admired and revered, quite rightly, but he was not above politics; he was practicing politics. he was engaged in politics, and it was through politics that the transformation of south africa was secured. like many here, i had the opportunity to meet nelson mandela on a number of occasions. one i particularly recall in these days was in 1998 when i
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attended the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the general agreement on tariffs and trade. seated in the hall, i heard a tremendous commotion at the rear. the delegate from south africa had arrived, and a kind of wave passed through the hall as delegates from every country in the world rose spontaneously to applaud him.
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i was both honored and humbled when he took his place beside me. we all honour him as a hero of the armed struggle. unlike some others who were also honored in that vein, particularly during my student years, he became also a hero of the peace. that is why we remember him in this way. >> i follow on exactly from the comments of the right honorable member and her reminiscence but also her mild remonstrance, which is absolutely well made, that we are talking here about a politician. certainly in the civil encounters with president mandela in one capacity, and with mr. mandela post-presidency in other capacities, not only
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was his sense of humor telling, but so was the self-deprecating use to which he put that humour, lest there was any thought that a political halo could be bestowed upon him. he certainly did not want that, and he would not want that to be part of his legacy today. i mention humor because my first introduction to nelson mandela was far from fortuitous. he was then president, and enormous numbers of parliamentarians had somehow all descended on south africa at the same time. they had come from new zealand, australia, here, ireland, france all on fact-finding missions. it was interesting that these fact-finding missions all coincided with the rugby world cup that was taking place in south africa. given that there were more visiting foreign politicians in the country than even visiting foreign rugby players, the president held a great gala reception.
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the leader of our delegation, my friend rupert redesdale, liberal democrat hereditary peer, was introducing the british delegation to the president, and he was pretty apprehensive in the presence of the great man. it came to my turn, and he said, "mr president, one of my colleagues from the house of commons in london. this is nigel kennedy." the president's characteristically firm handshake and jovial welcome confirmed two things for me there and then. first of all, he had never heard of nigel kennedy, but far more distressingly, he sure as hell had not heard of me either. things got worse on that visit. looking back, i was not so glad he was in his place on that
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occasion that evening -- and i were photographed with president mandela. what a wonderful memento to have. a few months later i was passing through glasgow, my favorite city, and as i always do when i am there, i picked up a copy of the glasgow evening times. the front page photo and lead story was that the south african government had confirmed that the clyde would be very much on the preferred bidders list for the latest warship that they were seeking interest in globally, and there was a photo of the honorable gentleman and the president himself, with the caption, "local mp, ian davidson, lobbying president mandela on a recent visit to south africa". but the funny thing was that
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when i looked at the photo, i discovered that i had been airbrushed out of history. perhaps that has been the story of my life ever since. i think, however, that president mandela would have admired the honorable gentleman's guile, and the way in which he exploited that opportunity. he did not do it in a mendacious way, but it was not particularly helpful to me. another meeting that i recall took place when he was plain mr mandela again, post-presidency, when the years were beginning to show. it was the night of the concert in trafalgar square and, as we would say at home, it was a gey dreich night. it was cold, windy and wet, with
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horizontal rain. mr. mandela was tired, and he was wearing an overcoat. first, he insisted on working the room in south africa house and speaking to everyone there. and then he went outside and enthralled the young, if rather soaked, audience who had been listening to the music. at that point, his minders were pretty keen to move him along and get him to his bed, which he clearly needed. but no -- the coat came off and he came back up the stairs in south africa house and worked the room again. we came face to face for a second time. he looked at me and said, "we talked earlier", and i said, "yes we did, mr mandela, it was an honor to meet you and we a very nice chat." "oh good," he said, "i will move on, but i did not want you to think i had been rude." that is the difference, is it not? that was a man who, when he needed votes, could weigh them
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in quantities that we practicing politicians can only dream of, yet when he was beyond the need for votes he still conducted himself with that extra special magic ingredient that separated him out, like the wheat from the chaff, from day-to-day jobbing politics the world over. today i am wearing the tie of glasgow university, where i have the role of university rector. glasgow gave mandela the freedom of the city at a time when it was unfashionable to do so, and he came to celebrate that on another dreich day in the years following his release. exactly a week ago, we were in this place paying tribute to
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those in glasgow who had suffered as a result of the terrible helicopter crash. many of the most heartfelt international tributes from outside this place came from south africa. a week is a long time in politics. last night, as rector of the university, i had the privilege of contributing to the beautiful annual carol service in the chapel. the format at the end was changed, so that instead of singing the university's anthem "gaudeamus igitur", the choir sang a beautiful version of the rainbow nation's wonderful national anthem. the thoughts that came to glasgow from south africa this time last week were returned with generosity and good will this week. mandela was in many ways simply the best. when president obama said that
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we should not see his like again, i guess he was right on one level. but let us look at what mandela did and at the fact that his words and deeds moved table mountain, and let us hope that we do see his like again. let us hope that we see his like in the middle east or in the vicinity of the koreas, for example, where people are crying out for a generation of politicians of a quality that can move mountains and minds in the way that mandela did. he reminds us that our trade need not be as awful as it is often depicted. he has given us something better to work for in ourselves. >> it is a great honor to take part in this tribute to nelson mandela. as far as i am concerned, it is
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almost as good as the magic moment when i sat with my wife in westminster hall as he addressed both houses of our parliament as the democratically elected president of all south africans. i know that i speak on behalf of people in my constituency, holborn and st pancras, because they have a very special relationship with the anti- apartheid movement. the movement was founded at a meeting of about 60 people in holborn hall in the summer of 1959. its first leaflets were distributed a fortnight later outside camden town underground station. its headquarters were always
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located in our area, and it always had our support. local people were particularly delighted when mr mandela came to camden town in july 2003 to unveil a blue plaque in memory of ruth first, who was murdered by the south african secret police, and joe slovo, who was a member of president mandela's first cabinet. i am delighted that his daughter gillian slovo is here to observe our proceedings. over many years, committed people in britain campaigned against apartheid, the trials of the leaders of the african national congress and the imprisonments that followed. they continued to campaign against the oppression of all black south africans and of all the other people who supported them. we also campaigned for the release of the prisoners, eventually concentrating on the release of nelson mandela, partly as a symbol -- and what a
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symbol he turned out to be. the commonplace history of political leaders is hope followed by disillusionment, but not with nelson mandela. his example exceeded the highest hopes of the opponents of apartheid, and shattered the delusions of those who portrayed him and the african national congress as bloodthirsty monsters. instead of bringing disillusionment to the world, he became the most widely admired man on planet earth. nelson mandela shamed and astonished the world by his forbearance and dignity in the face of all that he and his comrades had suffered at the hands of the apartheid system, including the 27 years -- i stress, 27 years -- that he spent in jail.
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the phrase "27 years" comes trippingly off the tongue, but try to imagine what that was like. let us each imagine the last 27 years of our own lives, and then substitute for them those 27 years of pain, deprivation and indignity. his were 27 years of powerlessness to protect his people and his family, and he was even denied access to family funerals. during all that time, he and his anc comrades sustained one another by mutual support, but those 27 years of imprisonment were unforgivable. we all know that if we came out of 27 years of unjust imprisonment, we would demand revenge, so people the world over could scarcely believe it when mr mandela preached not revenge, but reconciliation, and then went on to practise what he preached. that was not easy. it was not just a case of reconciling white south africans with majority rule; it was
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necessary to reconcile millions of black south africans with not taking what they regarded as legitimate retribution against their oppressors. however, those who supported the anti-apartheid cause were not so surprised at what happened. we knew that the freedom charter drawn up by the leaders of the anc, including nelson mandela, had committed them to a non- racial south africa in which everyone would be subject to the same laws and protected by the same laws, and which would pursue a policy of social justice. those prisoners went into jail committed to that cause, and they came out committed to that cause. they had not changed their dream of a non-racist south africa; it was up to others to abandon their oppression, racial smears
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and scaremongering. south africa and the world were fortunate to have, in nelson mandela, a leader superbly fitted to bringing about the necessary change. the responses from all around the world in the past few days attest to that. he was a man with a unique combination of profound dignity and a sense of fun; a man of towering intellect and plain words; and a man of the deepest enduring commitment to the cause of liberty. he was surely the model of what every decent human being would wish to be. meeting nelson mandela was a pleasure. he put people at their ease, but behind the twinkling eyes, charm and self-deprecating humor was the tempered steel of his commitment to his principles. after meeting him, most people, including presidents and prime
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ministers, realized that they did not measure up to his standards. most of us at least felt inspired to try to do a bit better in future. he made racists look pathetic. in my view, his example made it possible for barack obama to be elected president of the united states. mr. mandela rightly enjoyed the worldwide recognition of his remarkable character and achievements, but he never allowed that to divert him from applying the lessons of history and his political principles to the problems of the present and the future. in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, like many others, i spent a lot of time on marches and rallies, handing out leaflets, organizing campaigns, helping to organize the first wembley concert and getting people to boycott south
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african goods. i confess that i sometimes wondered whether it was doing any good. i even felt the same after addressing the united nations special committee against apartheid. in one of my conversations with nelson mandela, i confessed to my doubts about the value of our very limited contribution to the anti-apartheid campaign. his answer was that what we had done had been invaluable; that, even in jail, the prisoners had heard about the protests in london -- they had known they had not been forgotten and they had been aware of the ever- growing pressure on the south african government. that, of course, is why he addressed the labour party conference. he came to thank the labour
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party and the trade unions for in party and the trade unions for what he called our faithful support for the african national and congress "over many decades", which had "helped to make those years...bearable and contributed are you years...bearable and contributed to them not turning out to be wasted years." that lesson from the past should hearten all people who are involved in today's campaigns for justice. the worldwide response to the passing of this good old man has involved praise in equal measure from both friends and former enemies. i am sure that nelson mandela would have wanted us to welcome the repenting sinners. however, the test for them does not reside in the sentiments they now express. the test of their sincerity will be revealed in their response to
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the problems the world faces now and in the future. will they apply his tests of what is just and right? in his speech at the labour party conference, nelson mandela said that "the world has become the global village of which we once spoke only in wishful metaphor." he pointed out: "the danger is that globalization can come to mean only the free flow of goods and finance, the open access to markets", and warned "the concern for the common good, which characterized the international solidarity we spoke of, is in danger of being lost in the current understanding of a global
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world." it is time for leaders around the world and here at home to heed his warning. then and only then will we know that they have really learned the lessons of nelson mandela's life and work. a few years ago, a child at a primary school in my constituency came up and asked me, "who is the goodest person you know?" i did not correct her english -- i knew what she wanted to know. i said, "nelson mandela." all of us who had the honour of meeting him will go to our graves feeling privileged to be able to say, "yes, i met nelson mandela." 4.5 pm >> it is a great pleasure to follow the right honorable let's president obama attend the funeral of nelson mandela. as well as first lady michelle obama, laura bush, and hillary clinton. we have coverage of the memorial service tomorrow at 4:00 eastern on c-span2.
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a member of the agricultural and armed services committee. for the business community's we will be joined by john engler, president of the business roundtable. you can call. washington journal is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> carl levin came to the floor earlier today to discuss the 2014 program bill. in the past he has tried to take it in order to get the legislation passed. levin was joined by
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james in half and john mccain. this is 35 minutes. will beresident, senator withhold? >> morning businesses close. the senate will resume consideration. military activities and so forth and further purposes. left for the thanksgiving break, senator inhofe and i said that we would come to the senate floor today to update members on the status of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2014. before the break, we spent a week on the senate floor trying to bring more amendments up and to have them debated and voted on, but we were unable to do so.
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we tried to reach agreement to limit consideration to defense-related amendments, but we were unable to do that. we trade to get consent to vote on two sexual assault amendmen s that had been fully debated but we could not get that accident. -- get that consent. we tried to get consent to lock in additional votes but we were unable to do so. at this point, mr. president, the house of representatives will be adjourning for the year at the end of this week. and there is simply no way that we can debate and vote on those amendments to the pending bill, to get cloture, to pass the bill, to go to conference with the house, to get a conference report written and to have it adopted by the house of representatives all before the house goes out of session this friday. there just simply is no way that all of those events can take place and get a defense bill passed. so senator inhofe and i believe
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that it is our responsibility to the armed services committee, to the senate, to our men and women in uniform and to the country to do everything that we can to enact a defense authorization bill. for this reason, we're taking the same approach that we took when we were unable to finish the bill and go to conference with the house in 2008 and 2010. what we did is we s.a.t sat dowh our counterparts on the house side -- chairman buck mckee on andm the house committee, and we had our staffs come up with a bill that would have a chance of getting passed by both houses. the four of us have reached agreement hon a bill that we hope will be passed by the house before it recesses this friday, and if they do, then be considered by the senate next week. we worked hard to blend the bill. it was overwhelmingly voted out
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of the senate armed services committee, with the bill that was overwhelming a approved by the house of representatives. we have worked as we always do on the s.a. se committee. we focused on amendments that had been cleared on the senate side when the bill was being debated in the senate. we approached these amendments and others in much the same manner as we did provisions that were in the bill. working to come up with language wherever possible that could be accepted on the democratic and republican sides in both the senate and the house. the bill that we've come up with is not a democratic bill or a republican bill. it is a bipartisan defense bill. one that serves the interests of our men and women in uniform and spreerves the important principle of congressional oversight over the pentagon. here's some examples of what will be in the bill that will be considered by the house later this week and then hopefully by
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the senate next week. the bill will extend the department of defense's thought to pay combat pay and hardship duty pay for our troops. the bill relative to guantanamo includes that part of the senate language easing restrictions on overseas transfers of gitmo detainees but it retains the house prohibitions on transferring detainees to the united states. although we were unable to consider the gillibrand and mccaskill amendments on the senate floor, the bill includes -- or in the bill itself that will be forthcoming, the bill includes more than 20 other provisions to address the problem of sexual assault in the military that were the senate bill that came to the floor out of the committee and that were in the house of representatives' bill as well. these provisions include the following: they provide a special victims'
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counsel for survivors of sexual assault, they make retaliation for report ago sexual assault a crime under the uniform code of military justice. the provisions require commanders to immediately refer all allegations of sexual assault to professional criminal investigators. they would end the commander's ability to modify findings and convictions for sexual assaults and would require higher level review of any decision not to prosecute allegations of sexual assault. the bill will do the following that will be hopely coming here next week: the bill would make article 32 process more like a grand jury proceeding. now, under the ucmj, the code of military justice, currently the proceeding that is taken under article 32 is more like a discovery proceeding rather than a grand jury proceeding and it's
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created all kinds of problems including for victims of sexual assault who would have to appear and be semiconducto subject to cross-examination. this will help local school districts educate military children. the bill will extend existing military land withdrawals in a number of places that would otherwise expire, leaving the military without critical testing and training capabilities. the bill includes a new land withdrawal to enable the marine corps to expand its training area at 29 palms. the bill provides needed funding authority for the destruction of syrian chemical weapons stockpiles and for efforts of the jordanian armed forces to secure that country's border with skier syria. earlier today, general martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, wrote a whrer to the leadership of the senate and the house of
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representatives in which he strongly urges completion of action on the national defense authorization act this year. general dempsey's letter provides a long list of essential authorities that will lapse if this bill is not enacted. the -- and this is one just -- one paragraph that of his bill l -- his letter. the authorities are crit l cal to the nation's defense and are urgently needed to ensure that we all keep faith with the men and women military and civilian selflessly serving in our awrnld forces. appeared, mr. president, i would ask that his letter with that attachment with included in the record at this point. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: mr. president, we have not failed to pass a national defense authorization act for 52 years, even when, as i mentioned, in a couple cases in recent years the final bill was the result of a process like
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we've had to follow with this year's authorization bill. this is not the best way to proceed, but our troops and their families and our nation's security deserve a defense bill. and this is the only practical way to get a defense bill done this year. floss other way. as i indicated before, the house of representatives is -- we can't ghet this bill done before the end of this week if we brought back the bill that was pending before thanksgiving. there is no way. floss way that we can do it and the experience of the week before thanksgiving recess demonstrated pretty clearly there is no way we could get a defense bill such as the one that was piend pending this wee. the problem is that the house of representatives is done at the end of this week and if we use the pending bill that was previously pending as the vehicle, we can't possibly get a -- to a conference, get an
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agreement on a camps, get a conference report go back to the house of representatives and then get a conference report here because the house of representatives is done on friday. this is the only path to a bill. we've not missed in 52 years. the reason we don't miss is our troops and their families and the national security of this country. that's why we have not failed, and we cannot fail this year. and the only practical way to avoid failure is if we follow the course which senator inhofe and i are now proposing to this body. again be, it is not the preferred course. it just happens to be the only course. and i want to thank senator inhofe and all the members of our committee for the way they've worked on this bill for now almost a whole year and for the final product, which i believe will have the full committee's support, or at least almost all of us. there are only three members of the committee who did not vote
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for the about that i will came to the floor b i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, first of all, let me express my appreciation for not just this last monday -- a week ago today -- when we met and put together a negotiated settlement, a negotiated bill, but all year long in the previous year he's been very good to work with. we did our best to get a bill fl we passed our bill out of committee months ago, months ago, and the problem has been -- i am critical of the leadership of the senate and a lot of the people who wanted amendments. i have to say this: on the republican side we agreed finally to cut it down to 25 amendments, which i think is very reasonable, and we were denied that. and i can be critical.
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it doesn't do any good to be critical right now of the majority because we're where we are. the and we're here now. the chairman has stated that looking at december, it -- mr. president, we only have between now and friday at 11:00. that's it. the house is gone. they've already canadian decision. they've made the announcement and it is going to happen. so mechanically, if we are all going to embrace and love each other and not grie disagree request anything, it still couldn't be done. there is no way in the world we could have a defense authorization bill this year. we -- except to do the negotiated bill that we got together. by the way, when people say they want to wait until january, keep in mind that in the -- on the 31st of d.c., the services are no longer authorized to pay
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hazardous pay to the troops serving in hostile fire areas. after december 31, service is no longer authorized to offer 37 specific special and incentive pays in -- including enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses. these people in service, and those of us who have been in service, we know that they approach you, getting close to the time you're going to be out, and they say these benefits are going to be there if you will re-enlist. it's absolutely necessary that they have that information, and all of a sudden we're pulling the rug out from under them after they have anticipated what their re-enlistment would be. and so if you look at -- that is what happened -- those things stop december 31. now, if you say well, we can come back in january and do it, i can show you this calendar right here. you start on january 6 and we're going to be in the c.r. on the 15th, there is no way that they're going to pay any attention to the defense authorization during that time
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period. there just isn't the time to do it. and if you stop -- i won't be redundant and repeat the things that the chairman talked about that were -- that wouldn't happen, but if you take some of these areas like gitmo, sure, that's controversial, but in the absence of doing something, that stays just like it is but certain things are going to expire. it would restore this bill, the ndaa, the one-year prohibition on transferring gitmo detainees. you might remember last year, we had that one-year prohibition. that expires. when that expires, anything can happen. of course, we -- we also had passed prohibitions on construction and modified facilities in the united states. all these things come to an end if we don't have this bill. now, we covered this, and i appreciate the fact, and i want to repeat what the chairman said, that we actually had and
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cleared, considered some 87 amendments, and we got in this bill 79 amendments, and that's democrat and republican amendments. so we have done this in the areas where we are supposed to be -- be accomplishing it. i looked at some of the things in military construction, that any major projects that are currently under construction would have to stop work. they could be partway through a project. for example, the bill contains $136 million to continue construction for the replacement of a command center for the u.s. strategic command at off it air force base -- offett air force base in nebraska. if this amount is not authorized for appropriations, d.o.d. will have to stop work halfway during construction leading to contract claims, lost time, maybe even lawsuits, certainly extra work.
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the same thing i can say about areas in maryland, kentucky, washington, texas and new york. if you look at the construction of aircraft carriers, without the congressional action that we have in this bill, the -- to update the statutory cap on the cpn-78, the first class carrier of the aircraft, the navy will be forced to cease construction of the cbn-78 when it's already 75% complete, denying our nation of this critical asset, after we have already spent $12 billion on it. now, we're talking about huge amounts of money. we're talking about defending the united states of america. now, i would hate to think that we got here the way we did. we shouldn't have had to do that. i -- there is some blame to go around on both sides, but nonetheless, we have been unable
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to do it the way we have done it in the past. i will tell you something that's kind of interesting. we did a study, and we have found that in the last 30 years that we have never gone into january before, never, not once. the two times that we went in were after a veto of the bill, and then he vetoed it after that period of time, we immediately overrode the veto and we're home free. so this hasn't happened before. and for people to say that it has and it's not unusual to go into january, factually, that is just not true. so we have -- we have special operations, we have -- includes land use agreements. this is a big one here that will ensure special operations forces to have sufficient access for training ranges. the seals, the navy seals. i think many of us have been down there to the chalt mountain aerial gunnery range in california which serves an indispensable role in training the navy seals for deployment.
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failure to adopt the ndaa agreement that we're talking about now would result in sending navy seals to combat with insufficient training, undermining mission effectiveness and increasing the risk of their losing lives. so we have every reason to be concerned about this. we have only one way that we're going to be able to get a defense authorization bill. if we don't do it, this will be the first year in 52 years that we haven't had one. and so that's how serious this is. i do applaud the -- i don't like the way it was done, but i like the end product and i think so many people -- if you look, i think the chairman mentioned the sexual assault discussion that we have had. we had the gillibrand bill. we had the mccaskill bill -- i'm sorry, the amendments. we didn't get a chance to talk about those, but we actually have 27 specific reforms to support victims and encourage
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sexual assault reporting expanding and so forth. so we have done a lot, and i don't think anyone could argue that we would in any way be better off not to have an authorization bill or to just lump it together and put it on a clean c.r. that's not any way to do business. it doesn't accomplish any of the things that i just mentioned and the chairman just mentioned as progress in this bill. so with that, i'm happy to join the chairman of the committee in a bipartisan way to help to try to defend america. the first thing we need to do with this is to pass our negotiation -- negotiated bill. i yield the floor. mr. mccain: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to engage in colloquy with the chairman and ranking member, if necessary. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: as we discuss this legislation or lack of legislation, which may be unique
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in the history of the united states senate in that for 51 years, this body has passed a defense authorization bill, gone to conference between the two houses and had a bill to the president's desk, a bill that legislation that i think most americans would agree is our first priority, and that is to defend the security of this nation. so i -- i guess one of the questions i have for the distinguished chairman of the committee and obviously the ranking member is that by us not acting on this bill before the end of the year, isn't it true, i would ask chairman levin, that we have already done some damage to the military and our
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readiness? isn't it also true that in the years that senator levin and i and senator inhofe have been together on the armed services committee, we have never tried to do an authorization bill in a week? there are just too many issues that are worthy of debate and votes on the part of this body. so isn't it true, i would ask senator levin, that if we fail to take up this legislation, we will be embarking into unknown and uncharted waters, because then we will be leaving it, isn't it true, to various appropriations bills or continuing resolutions or patchwork kind of addressing of of -- as i would argue, and i don't know how anyone could dispute is the most important obligation that the congress of the united states has, and that
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is to authorize the provisions in law that are necessary to defend this nation. i would ask the senator from michigan. mr. levin: the senator from arizona's point is extremely well taken, and there is relevant to his point a list of expiring authorities which we have just received from the chairman of the joint chiefs, general dempsey, and i put that letter in the record. we just got it literally a few hours ago, listing some of the expiring authorities, including many that -- a number that i think you mentioned and also senator inhofe -- mr. mccain: would the chairman mention a couple of those? mr. levin: yes. special pay and bonuses, combat pay, travel and transportation allowances, nonconventional assistance recovery capabilities, the authorities to do milcon which were mentioned, i believe, by the senator from oklahoma. it's a long list. and there will be a real chasm
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if we don't do this this year. you can't just say we'll leave it go until next year. senator inhofe pointed out, i believe, in one or two cases where it actually did get signed in the year after the fiscal -- the year after the bill was passed, it was because there was a veto by a president and the veto override took place, i believe, in the weeks after january. but these -- these expiring authorities are very serious business. we're going to tell men and women in combat that there is a gap in their combat pay, and we don't know for sure that it will ever be filled, the uncertainty. and this is what general dempsey mentions in his letter. he says allowing the bill to slip to january adds yet more uncertainty for the force and further complicates the duty of our commanders who face shifting global threats. i also fear that delay may put the entire bill at risk.
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protracting this uncertainty and impacting our global influence. and then he gave us a list of the expiring authorities. so the senator from arizona raises a very critical issue here. now, it's not desirable for us to pass the bill as we have, but with the help of the senator from arizona, when he was the ranking member, we were able on two occasions in a situation where there was objections to the -- to amendments being offered on the senate floor -- i won't go into all of the details, but two of the last five years, we were put in a position where we couldn't get the usual course followed where the bill had full amendment process on the senate floor. it had some, as this bill has, but not enough time, and then we ran into that wall and we were able to work out a bipartisan resolution to present to the senate sort of a virtual conference report. not technically a conference report, but a bill, a fresh bill, a new bill which merged and blended the bill that passed
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the senate armed services committee in those two years with the bill that passed the house of representatives. we then on a bipartisan basis presented those two bills to the senate and they were passed. mr. inhofe: let me mention a couple of others to the senator from arizona. the specific question was what's going to happen if what expires on january 1. in addition to the hazard pay that was articulated by the chairman, we also have the re-enlistment bonuses, and i think any of us who have served in the military remember as you get close to your date of -- of discharge, you look and you make a plan for the future as to what you are going to do in terms of re-enlistment. it's all based on assumptions of re-enlistment bonuses. all of a sudden, they disappear. you couldn't -- you couldn't have that. what's that going to do to our forces and impact aid? i think impact aid has been something that people don't really think about unless they
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happen to be in an area that has a lot of military activity where people have been taken off the payrolls -- off of the tax rolls. on january 1, impact aid would end. so yeah, there is a lot of concern over and we talked for a long time about what will happen with this bill in terms of partially -- military construction that's partially done or the building of -- of various platforms, but what will actually happen as of january 1 would be really a crisis. if we were to have to stop these things. mr. mccain: first of all, could i -- i probably should have said this at the beginning. i am very proud of the leadership that both senator levin and senator inhofe have provided to the armed services committee. i serve on a number of committees and have served on a number of committees in my time here in the senate, and the
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bipartisanship and cooperative legislating that is exemplified by both senators to me makes me proud and makes me believe that there is still some hope for bipartisanship here in the united states senate, and your leadership i think has been vital in putting together an authorization bill which i think is, as we described, is incredibly important. i would ask both of my colleagues, i'm hearing now from especially on this side of the aisle that, well, it's okay if we -- if we let this go over into january. after all, we've only got another week. we've got the farm bill, we've got the budget agreement, et cetera. why not just, in the house, the other side of the capitol, is going out of session. why isn't it just okay to wait until january? we'll be back early in january
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and work on this legislation then. i'm pretty sure i know the answer, but i'd ask the chairman if that isn't nearly as easy as it sounds, even if, contrary to custom in january, that we would do anything legislatively. mr. levin: the senator points out the reality, which is what is likely to happen in january. but there is another reality. in other words, what will happen in january, it will be very difficult to get to this bill because of, number one, the crushing business of c.r.'s and other crushing business in january tpaoepb we meet in -- even if we meet in january. i guess the shortest answer i can give is the following: i'm in combat. i'm in combat somewhere in the world, and i'm going to read, combat pay stops on december 31. there's dozens of these kind of authorizations that are listed in general demsey's letter.
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dozens of them that just stop on december 31. just take that one. think about that. what kind of an impression are we giving to our men and women who are in combat, in harm's way, when they read combat pay stops? maybe it will be extended in january or in february, but that's totally unsatisfactory. it would be outrageous, i believe, for us not to pass this bill. mr. inhofe: i'd like to add that i noticed here that the average time it takes to debate on the floor to pass the n.d.a. is nine days. that's over the last ten years average. if you look at the -- i used this earlier -- the calendar for january, we come back on the 6th. we have a c.r. on the 15th. and it's not as if we're going to be -- we're going to be
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spending that time on the c.r.. then of course we're going to be faced the next month with the debt ceiling. so i just don't see that that's going to happen. i think it's going to happen in some other way, but it's not going to happen in reform. i appreciate very much the senator from arizona calling this to the attention that this is, we can't wait till january. it's not going to work. we know it's going to expire december 31. we also know what can't happen in january because there flat isn't time. mr. mccain: i don't know if my colleagues would like to respond or not but i'd like to make two comments. one is that i'm deeply disappointed, deeply, deeply disappointed in the majority leader not taking up this legislation much earlier. the majority controls the calendar. that's one of the key elements of the majority's winning elections and majority in the
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senate. and for us to wait since, i believe, june when we passed the bill out of the armed services committee until just shortly, a short time ago and then only allowing a few days is really a grave disservice not so much to the members of the senate, but it's a grave disservice and a lack of prioritization of the importance of this legislation. and i'm deeply disappointed that the majority leader of the senate, because of his manipulation of the calendar has put us in this position. having said that, i spend time, as i know the senator from oklahoma and the senator from michigan, our distinguished chairman have, in the company of men and women who serve. one of our obligations as members of the armed services committee is to spend time with the military. i know that the senator from oklahoma does and the senator from -- the chairman does as well.
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and, you know, their morale isn't good. they've seen sequestration take place, across-the-board cuts that have been done with a meat-ax and not a scalpel. and all three of us would agree that there are enormous savings that could be enacted in our nation's defense department. we haven't even got an audit of the defense department. year after year after year we demand that an audit be conducted by the department of defense by a certain year, and it's never happened. and so we're not apologists. in fact, i believe that the chairman and ranking member have been zealous in their efforts to reduce waste and mismanagement and duplication in the armed services, in the defense department through their work on the armed services committee. but the morale of our men and women who are serving is being harmed, and it's not something that shows up in dollars and cents. but it does show up over time.
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i would ask the senator from michigan, it does show up over time in their willingness to remain in the military. i was recently down at fort campbell, kentucky, with the senator from tennessee, senator alexander, and we had an excellent briefing from the colonels and the generals, and the chief master sergeants of the united states army there. and unanimous, unanimous was their view that they believe that we in the congress of the united states are not taking care of them. they've always looked to us to provide them with the pay, the benefits, the housing, the equipment, the training that's necessary to do their job. they don't believe we're doing that anymore. they believe when we enact sequestration and with a meat-ax cut across the board -- and don't ask me about it.
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ask general odierno and the chiefs who have testified before the armed services committee about the devastating effects of readiness, of training, of acquisition. and most of all, on the morale of the men and women who are serving who literally don't know, some of them, what they're going to be doing the next day. the next day they don't know if they're going to be able to fly their airplanes or run their tanks or have the exercises that have been planned for months and even years. they don't know because of almost day to day trying to apportion funds that are remaining in the most efficient and beneficial way. so i stand before my colleagues in the senate today and the two leaders in the authorization committee embarrassed, embarrassed and a bit ashamed that we've done this to these good men and women who are willing to put their lives in harm's way to defend us, and we
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can't even pass a bill that authorizes what they need to defend this nation with. it's shameful. shameful. i want to thank the senator, chairman and ranking member for the hard work they have done on this legislation, their thousands of hours they've spent on behalf of defending this nation and the men and women who serve it. i yield. mr. levin: i want to thank the senator from arizona for everything he's been doing for so many decades for this country, including on our committee. it's invaluable. we're going to get this bill passed. that's our determination. it would be a shock to, i think, every american if we are unable to pass the defense authorization bill. it would be totally intolerable. i know senator inhofe and i, with the help of senator mccain and others, are going to get this bill done this year. mr. inhofe: mr. president, one last comment i want to make.
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you can listen to us down here and not get the full impact. i carry this with me, the very top person, top military person in the country, the chairman of the joint chief of staffs, general demsey, told us, our committee, that we are putting our military on a path where the force is so degraded and so unready that it would be immoral to use force. that's the number-one guy. the number-two guy, admiral winfield, stated for the first time in my career, instances where we may be asked to respond to a crisis and we will have to say that we cannot. well, we can't correct all that with this bill, but we can sure keep it from getting worse and get back and do what we've done over the last 52 years and pass an >> after this remarks, armed service committee leaders
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briefed reporters on military programs. there was a compromise in language between the two chambers. get to the house floor for a vote this week. in the senate next week. >> thank you for your patience. is this on? can you hear me? i am buck mckeon from the 20th district of california. i am joined by chairman levin from michigan. he is the chairman of the armed services committee. and i am joined by ranking member of the senate committee. adam smith is held up. i am pleased to announce that, working together, members of the senate and house armed services
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committees have reached an agreement for the fiscal year 2014. some of you have speculated we wouldn't be able to finish our work this year and that we would pass with only the essential authorities. i am pleased to say that -- i do not want to say that we proved you wrong -- but that is basically what happened. we are offering a full, comprehensive bill. the house passed in june on the floor. the same day the senate passed their bill out of the committee with a vote of 23-3. we know that the senate ran out of time to fully finish their bill on the floor.
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but they had worked on an agreement of 25 amendments for the republicans and 25 for the house because the time ran out. we met and were able to go through about 87 amendments, 79 of which have been debated and are included in the bill, as if they were passed on the senate floor. we have worked across party lines. we have come up with some very important things in this bill. i am going to hit on a couple of the overseas sensitive military operations act. that was worked on by our ranking member adam smith. this gives us the opportunity and ability to oversee our forces overseas.
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biggestsault -- issues that we address this year. and the sexual assault caucus did tremendous work, as did joe wilson and susan davis, the ranking member. we held numerous hearings and really work hard on this issue to come up with some very good changes. as an army grandfather of a young and beautiful granddaughter, i am very pleased with what they worked out to work on sexual assault prosecution and prevention.
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gitmo has been an issue that has been with us for a long time. we found common ground on detainees where they will not be able to be brought into this country. some of the certification requirements for former transfers have been replaced and negotiated. i wish we a time for more full debate on this. but we are here, at this point, saying we are where we are. we ran out of time, and it is time we owe the men and women in uniform and the national security to finish this bill. our plan is to bring it to the floor this week, get it passed, send it to the senate. i would like to pass this over to chairman levin and ranking member inhofe to tell us how we're going to proceed from here.
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>> thank you so much, chairman mckeon. and thank you to the ranking members of the senate and house armed services committees. chairman mckeon has described the point where we are at. the hope is the bill will get this to the house floor this week before they leave so it can them come to the senate. that is the first important step. if that succeeds, and it comes to the senate, we will be in next week and will have a chance to take up a bill. this is the only way we can pass pass the bill this year. it is not the first time something like this has happened. twice in the last five years have we been in a position where we had to pass a bill that had not been fully amended or completed on the senate floor.
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we added a huge number of amendments in committee. there were a number of bills on the senate floor. there were two on sexual assault. those amendments, which we wanted to debate and get them debated on, we could not get them to debate. as chairman mckeon mentioned, the bill we're offering has a combination of the provisions on sexual assault as well as the house provisions. these are extremely important provisions. rather than me going through them, i think you'll have a list. i would be happy to answer questions that are in this bill of sexual assault to try to end
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the excessive numbers of sexual misconduct that still occurs. occurs. here is what this bill does and this is why it was critically important that we pass this bill. this is going to extend hardship duty pay. this bill takes half of what we did in the senate and passes it. it gives flexibility to the president to transfer detainees from guantanamo bay to third countries. it maintains the prohibition on transferring detainees here for trial and detention. we compromised it in that way. there are about half of the detainees that could be transferred. about half of the detainees will remain in guantanamo bay because of the prohibition on
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transferring them to the united states for detention and for trial. we also made a major change in the area of the ucmj, the so- called article 32 process. it is more like a grand jury process which has the purpose of determining if it is probable cause rather than a discovery proceeding. in sexual assault cases, the victim has to appear and be subject to cross-examination. the changes are changes in general on a preliminary procedure that takes place in the military. there are critical land withdrawal provisions. three of them had to be extended or else the withdrawals would have ended, would have
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terminated, which would've left our military without proper training facilities. there is a new withdrawal that will allow the ring core two expenditure in your area. we also provided funding to deal with the iranian stockpile. this bill was been on the senate floor for about one week. senator and i tried during the week to bring amendments to be debated and voted on. unfortunately, we didn't have a great deal of success in that regard. the amendments that i mentioned, that have been only debated, we could not get consent to go to a vote. we sought clearance to adopt 40
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cleared amendments. we could not get consent. we tried to address an additional 26 amendments to have them debated, 13 on each side. we were unable to do that. the reality is that the house of representatives is going to adjourn on friday. there is no way to get a defense bill passed this year, except the way that we are proposing. there is no way that we can bring up, or bring back the bill that was on the senate floor, considering that you have to pass a bill, go to conference with the house, get a conference report written, and have a conference report adopted by the house of representatives before friday. under these circumstances, the only way that we are going to be able to pass this senate bill is
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by reaching an agreement that at least has a chance of getting passed without amendment in both houses. that is the best hope we have, and, again, it has happened a couple of times before. it is not the way we desire to legislate. we would have more than a week to offer amendments if we could. but if that is not the world we now live in. the troops need our help. it has families who need our support. it has a number of authorities to assist. there's a letter we were handing out by general dempsey. i think copies are available for all of you, which lists all of the authorities. combat pay is just one of the authorities.
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30 of them on this list if we don't pass a bill this year. that is what our hopes are. >> i agree with both speakers. this is not the way we would like to do it. we got to the point a week ago today where this was the only point we could do it. there are some issues important to consider. first of all, we considered 87 amendments that have been brought up. we passed 79 of them. that is kind of hard to do. it would have been hard to do on the floor. this bill is really significant. you have to consider, as members of the media, that the choices are not do you want to have a bill the way we are doing it here or have one the normal way it takes place. that is not possible any longer.
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the house is going out at 11:00 on friday, so there is not the time to go the process where you are going to have amendments and these considerations. that is behind us. what is not been said is that people are saying, can you go into january? first of all, it has never gone into january in the last 52 years. the only time it has gone in -- we overrode the veto. it has to be done. it has always been historically done in december or november. we passed this bill months ago, and i criticize the senate
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leadership or not allowing us to bring it up. if you see what is happening in january, that is significant. we come back the sixth. it takes the average time over the last 10 years to consider one of these bills is 10 years. i am sorry, it is 10 days, and in that time, we had the c on the 15th. i can tell you right now and i do not have to tell you this, we will be spending our time on the cr, and then the debt limit. it will not be done unless it is done this way. it is critical that people have to understand that. lately, a lot of people have beenwe have historically able to go into january. that is not true, and i have another chart here that shows that we have not gone into january. i would only say this -- there are two categories of problems we have here. one, things are going to expire on december 31 this year, and, secondly, what is going to expire is as a time matures, as
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to what is going to come up now, we're talking about hazard pay, and those of us who have been in the military, we know that there is quite an involved process in making a career decision as to whether or not you are going to reenlist. reenlistment notices. on december 31. they would not be there any longer. impact aid. you folks are not as exposed as we are, when you go to areas where they have taken away taxes from our school system, and impact aid is this area. that will stop on december 31. the things that will not stop right then that will be of major concern , i will mention two, and then respond to questions, any major projects curtly under construction will have to stop work. i use an example on the floor. it contains -- the bill contains 136 million for construction of the replacement of the command stratcom in the
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breast. if this is not authorized, then the work will have to stop. it would have to stop halfway through. 78.take the cbn we have already spent $12 billion on this. if we do not pass this bill, it will have to stop, and you are talking about 4300 shipbuilders out of work. the point is we would be wasting not millions, billions of dollars if we do not do this. he have a good bill here that contains a lot of reservations -- provisions. both speakers have articulated these provisions, and this is the only way to do the bill, to do it this way. i'm talking about -- i commend about the big four. we spent a long time going over this. we have a good product, and we're going to try to do our best to get it passed. similar problems you had when
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you were trying to manage the bill. so you got roughly i do not know how many senators to convince now that this is a good idea. >> 51. [laughter] >> yes, you need 51, but for some it only takes one to tie your whole show upward who are the people you would need to reach out? who is needing to control this idea? somethinge faced with different now than they were before. before, they were faced with how we are going to pass this bill, and well i have an opportunity to bring amendments. some amendments were not germane, did not relate to defense, and these individuals are now looking at it -- it is no longer the choice of do i get a process where my amendments are going to be considered, or do i not.
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if do i want a bill or do i not. i think they are going to do the responsible thing and come to the conclusion that having a the far outweighs, for all reasons we have articulated, not having a bill. the choices are limited out. there is only one. >> let me at this, there were many amendments that had been , 30 of whichsenate had been cleared, and indeed, there were second packages is of a similar amount, which was cleared as well. agreement onhed the language in those amendments , and provided we could find something either the senate- passed bill in a committee or the house-passed bill, to which those amendments were cleared, we could then and did, wherever we possibly could, add the substance of those amendments to the freestanding bill which will be introduced. on of the people -- this is
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a bipartisan basis -- many of the senators, democrats and republicans, who had filed amendments, will find that we did a reasonably good job of addressing the issues that they wanted addressed in those amendments in this freestanding bill. it is not as though none of the filed amendments were addressed in this bill. note -- many of them are addressed in this bill. it also is effective there's not a person in the house of representatives or in the u.s. senate that has not at one time or another been upset with process. we are past that at this point. haverocess -- we still disagreements over process, but we now have a bill. and now it is do you want to bill not? when you consider our national defense, our men and women in uniform, the overlying principle is get the bill passed, yes. >> are you filing the bill
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today? have you talked to leader counter about -- leader co anter -- >> when are we filing the bill? >> over the next couple days. >> i spoke to boehner and cantor and explain where we are. did not knowey that we would have the bill finalized them at that we are here to announce it today and we have the bill, we are able to move forward. so you will try to work out the defense bill in the next few days. there are still budget talks going on between ryan and murray. regardless of what is going on in this bill, what are you hearing from them as they try to give some sort of agreement -- yet some sort of agreement, and i understand there is no agreement yet. >> i think you know we have been
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armed busy and we are the services committee. they are the budget committee. they're doing their work as we are doing ours. i hope we are both successful the suite. >> keep in mind this is authorization, not a preparation. appropriation. >> [indiscernible] >> and now the piece of legislation pertains to defense, and -- [indiscernible] hope they are, i successful, and i hope we are successful w. ues >> -- yes. >> [indiscernible] why did you decide against her? >> you got it wrong. we did not decide against her. there was an effort made in the senate to bring her bill and
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senator mccaskill's bill, both amendments at that time, up for vote. we tried it. there was objection to it. there was objection to us, including either of those in this freestanding bill. i think all of us wanted to have votes on both amendments. regardless of whether you supported one or the other or both, there was an objection. we tried it. it was debated for a day and a half in the senate. it is in no one's interest that this not be resolved. they both have filed freestanding bills now. and they both have filed them in ways that either of those or both of those bills come hopefully, can be brought up for a vote as a freestanding ill, if senator reid, the majority leader, is able to find the time to do that, and i have talked to him about him, because we all want both of those two matters, --t just java brand 00 gi
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gillibrand's. explain what the agreement you view as having, what it does for soldiers who have a complaint [indiscernible] alleged sexual assault in the military? >> i read many of the provisions. were you here before? >> i was. >> do you want me to repeat them? >> i do not want you to repeat them, but you mentioned -- >> article 32 is a separate amendment. that was the boxer amendment that nobody objected to, unlike and mccaskill amendments. we tried to get that language adopted on article 22. to restore objection, so we were able to incorporate that because the subject was addressed in both bills in terms of sexual
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assault, even though the article 32 part did not limit it to central assault, and limited it discovery which created unfair problems for people who are victims, or the complainants. we were able to get an agreement that we should address that. we could not get agreement that we would addressed either the gillibrand or mccaskill amendments. they are freestanding bills. all of us want to vote on those matters, even though in these bills there are some major improvements in the area of sexual assault. for instance, and i will give you some of them again. one of them is retaliation is a crime. the threat of retaliation has been one of the reasons why victims do not report. improperlts or the contacts or sexual behavior. bill now, in this
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that is going to be introduced in the next couple days in the house and then the senate, retaliation is a crime under the ucmj. we point the direction for accountable for the climate inside these units for this bill. we see the commander cannot reverse a finding of a court- martial. seen one of the problems which arose is when a commander reversed a finding of a court martial, and that created a real problem and we have addressed that by saying that that can no longer happen. we also say if a commander does not follow the advice -- excuse me -- that if there is a sexual assault complaints that is filed, that that complaint, if it does not lead to a court- martial, must go to a higher level official, including
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usually a general officer and in deed can go right up to the thattary of the military is involved. it can go to the secretary of the army, navy, air force, and so on. thery fwere four of the 20 onvisions in this bill sexual assault. the detailed list as to what is in this bill i believe is being circulated or has been circulated to all of you. even though -- >> [indiscernible] >> press release is out. is it on the web or -- >> [indiscernible] >> ok, but in terms of the details of what is in the bill, there's no difference between -- peter -- >> [indiscernible] description of the provisions in the bill are in both releases, even our release
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is not out in terms of rhetoric. >> yes. >> [indiscernible] has the leadership of any of your partiers 00 -- [indiscernible] >> i cannot answer that question right now. i have talked to them. i have had two meetings with for this, and we have another after this where we are trying to get as many people here. unfortunately, some people are not in town. mitch mcconnell is in an airport unable to get out right now. i have talked to them by phone. i see a totally different change in attitude now that we are at a point where the choices are so limited that it is either we do it or we do not do it. i cannot tell you that we have a commitment on the republican side for this, but we have a lot more support than we would have had more that we did have to
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repay consideration of the bill. >> and on the democratic side, i talked to leader reid. he is hopeful that the house will be able to pass a bill this week so we can take it up next week. he agrees there is no realistic way of passing a defense authorization bill this year procedure, and i emphasize that this is the same procedure that was used twice before in recent years, in 2010 and in 2008, i believe. now, in terms of democratic caucus, we will present this to my colleagues. we will be meeting with the full armed services committee 15 minutes ago -- [laughter] and the meeting with the democratic caucus tomorrow. one last question. yes. >> [indiscernible] they are going to talk to
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each other. i talked to them individually. he could not make a commitment until they have talked each other, which hopefully they have done by now. yes. >> republicans and journalists specifically over section -- [indiscernible] citizens whorican have a connection with terrorism. was there any thought at all given on that provision -- [indiscernible] >> let me go back over and tell you what we have in the bill will be an improvement over what we have already passed in the house and in the senate committee, and it was an overwhelming vote. will be ok. i think we have addressed people's concerns. thank you very much trade we need to go get the bill passed. thank you. in a few moments, i financial stability oversight council discussion

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Key Capitol Hill Hearings
CSPAN December 9, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

Speeches from policy makers and coverage from around the country.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Mandela 31, Inhofe 10, Levin 7, United States 6, Glasgow 6, Mr. Mccain 6, Britain 5, Mr. Inhofe 5, Mr. Levin 5, Mr. Mandela 5, Oklahoma 4, Michigan 4, London 4, Mr Mandela 4, Mckeon 4, Dempsey 4, Navy 3, Anc 3, Pretoria 3, Washington 3
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